Monday, April 14, 2014

Pampering and Protecting your Outdoor Investment

     Proper cleaning, care and maintenance of your outdoor furniture and fabrics is key to its longevity and  looks. Any time you can cover, or bring your outdoor pieces inside during the off season periods of unuse, is the best way to prolong the wear and beauty of your product. Always read and follow the manufacturers  guidelines before attempting to use any cleaning products. It is best to pamper your pieces and never power wash, bleach or use abrasive products or methods when cleaning. Whether you are attempting to clean wicker, wood, metal, or fabric, a light soft brush should be used first to remove loose dirt and debris. Next, use a solution of 1/4 cup of mild dish detergent per gallon of warm water applied with a sponge or brush, then lightly rinse and pat dry.

      Not only is periodic cleaning important, so is maintenance. If wicker has been painted, lightly sand any areas that are peeling and touch up paint to preserve the newness. Wood often needs deeper cleaning due to mildew or bird droppings or discoloration. You may use a fine grit sand paper or even wood (not chlorine) bleach applied with a soft brush and then a rinse. Keeping wood products sealed with a water repellent stain or sealer is also very helpful. Metal can also be lightly sanded to remove rust or mold. After metal furniture is clean and free of rust and mold, paint should be touched up. For water repellency, maintain with a coat of liquid or paste car waxing product. If outdoor fabrics have lost their water repellent properties, spray with a fabric protector and let dry. Repeat once a year.

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